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Baby Got Back
“I like big butts and I cannot lie.” This lyric is synonymous with Baby Got Back. Rap in the 1990’s was somewhat more clean-cut than now, but this song was much more offensive than usual. They weren’t as parent-friendly as Aerosmith’s and Run DMC’s Walk this Way. In fact Walk this Way was considered a legendary song and video whereas Baby Got Back was just offensive. The video and song for Baby Got Back has a harmful influence on society, because it promotes harmful stereotypes against black women, and especially women in general.
The explicit lyrics persuaded the young people who once listened to it. Sir-Mix-A-Lot was in many ways the predecessor to many of ‘90s and today’s rap stars. “Oh my god, Becky, look at her butt, it’s so big. She looks like one of those rap guys girlfriends. Who understands those rap guys? They only talk to her because she looks like a total prostitute.” These are just a few of the lines in Baby Got Back. He persuaded most of the rappers that people know today. This song is the reason that women are often perceived as sex objects.
This song gives a false perception of the ideal image of women. It lists frequent examples of a ‘healthy’ woman. For example: “36-24-36. Only if she's 5'3”. That line is a great example of what the whole song says: you have to be a certain way in every way. Nothing out of proportion or in the wrong places even if you like it like that. You have to live up to the impossible. It has given young women low self-esteem issues. This has led teenage girls to diet and develop eating disorders.
The Baby Got Back video has also led to more racy and derogative videos. It set the bar for videos that were ‘entertaining’. Now videos include naked women and men. Like they say sex sells. The latest Christina Aguilera music video named Dirrty involves Christina in leather chaps and a leather top bikini. This is what qualifies for artistic integrity now. In fact the music video to give Britney Spears her big break featured her in a Catholic school girl’s uniform. That was only the beginning to the madness.
The video and song for Baby Got Back has a harmful influence on society, because it promotes negative stereotypes against black women. The explicit lyrics swayed the youth who listened to it and thereby influenced today’s youth. The song gives the ideal image of what women should look like and led to more racy and revealing music videos.
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Bubblegum pop, Baby, Music video, Britney Spears
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